Mayfield Gardens, Oberon

Mayfield Gardens, Oberon


Posted 2020-08-02 by LGfollow
"Are we too young to go to gardens?" Mr Man asked me when he proposed a visit to the largest privately owned gardens in the Southern Hemisphere, Mayfield Gardens in Oberon. Set in 16 hectares 180km west of Sydney, the gardens are open all year round, and also extend to encompass the 50 hectare Hawkins' Family Garden, which includes a full-size maze.

Top Tip: The Hawkins' Family Garden is only open for a limited number of days per year. Check the company website for dates, so that your trip includes access to all the grounds.

At the entrance, there is a cafe and a nursery, neither of which require a fee to enter. There are also plenty of picnic areas throughout the gardens if you wanted to BYO lunch.

The grounds are made up of multiple siloed gardens connected by gravel paths. There is a purposely built mobility friendly path for prams and wheelchairs allowing access to the gardens without the need for stairs or boardwalks. At certain times of the year, there is a shuttle bus to take visitors to designated points around the garden. You can also bring your pooch, so long as they remain on a leash.

Each garden is very distinct, and there is plenty of variation.

The Water Garden is 2.5 hectares and has multiple paths and bridges to meander across. The ponds are covered in colourful water lilies; I suspect these would look spectacular in the spring/summer.

Head over the lake via the stone bridge and take a walk along the boardwalk to a Chinese Pagoda.

There are pristine gardens with low symmetrical landscaped hedges, which one might expect to find in the grounds of an English country manor.

Not all the gardens are so obviously manicured, such as a rugged rockery constructed on the hillside with a man-made stream running through.

There are sections with a greater sense of grandeur, notably the obelisk and the tree lined grass avenue leading up to the gallery that contains information about the development and history of the gardens.

Tucked away in the top corner of the gardens is the Fernery and Stumpery, which is slightly more stump than fern. The dead tree stumps, logs and pieces of bark, along with the odd skull and bones thrown in, create an eerie atmosphere that is not in keeping with the rest of the grounds. I would recommend adding this to your visit, especially if you have any bodies which require burying.

Also at the far end is the challenging English Box Hedge Maze. Be prepared to queue, we waited approximately 20 minutes before racing our way, via a few wrong turns, to the central crow's nest to ring the bell. Don't worry if you find yourself going round in squares, there are hints discreetly hidden if you need help finding your way.

Whilst the warmer months are generally considered the optimal time to visit gardens, as flowers are blooming and trees blossoming, I would think twice before writing off an autumn or winter visit, as there is still plenty to see and an explosion of warm and rich colours.

Although admittance is more on the pricey end, I think that it was money well spent as we were exploring for a good three hours, and the gardens certainly exceeded our expectations.

So to answer the original question, either there is no lower age limit for visiting gardens or we are indeed old enough... I'm going with the former.

167054 - 2023-06-15 04:06:13


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